Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Saturday Survey (March 17th)

*Survey courtesy Frank Merrill

Wow! Some MAJOR Movers on this Nevada Chart this week!
Aretha Franklin moves up ten spots (from #12 to #2) with her latest, "Since You've Been Gone."   Right behind her are Georgie Fame ("The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde," which climbs seven places from #10 to #3), "Men Are Gettin' Scarce" by Joe Tex, up eleven places from #15 to #4, "Simon Says" by The 1910 Fruitgum Company (up to #5 from #11), "What You Want" by The Music Explosion (jumping 13 places from #19 6o #6), "The Mighty Quinn" by Manfred Mann (Up from #24 to #7, a move of 17 places!) and then "Back Up Train" by Al Green, up twelve spots from #22 to #10.  (Not much Top Ten left from the week before!)

Just outside The Top Ten we find "Green Light" by The American Breed, climbing from #31 to #14 (that's 17 spots), "La La Means I Love You" by The Delfonics (#35 to #16, up 19 spots) and "Scarborough Fair," the latest by Simon and Garfunkel, which now sits at #20 after a 19 point jump from #39 the week before.  (kk)

3-11-68 KBMI - Henderson, Nevada

Henderson may not ring a bell like it's next door neighbor, Las Vegas, but it has about 300,000 people today.  In 1968, it had a cool station playing some great forgotten hits.  The Vegas area was being blasted by the bubblegum psychedelic sounds of the Music Explosion and "What You Want (Baby I Want You)" this week.  The top producers of 1968 were likely Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz with their parade of bubblegum hits on the charts.  Although Buddah Records became basically known for this genre, Laurie Records enjoyed many of these hits of their doings, too, including THIS one.  There will likely be very few (if any) charts in this 1968 collection to NOT feature a K-K song or two.  
One cool tune that charted almost nowhere else is Sonny & Cher's "Circus" which you can imagine might go over well in Vegas.  A pretty "heavy" sound and lyric complete with mob gunshots that even surpass Georgie Fame's #3 "Bonnie & Clyde."  It's a Sonny original that I would have thought would break nationally with its' "mouth popping" (literally!) percussion and its doom filled ending somewhat in a "Ode to Billie Joe" musical arrangement!  


3/13/68:  The Beatles’ “Lady Madonna” / “The Inner Light” single released is Great Britain, their last release for the Parlophone record label.  A few months later, they would issue their first single on their own brand new record label, Apple Records. (“Hey Jude”)

3/13/68:  The Byrds receive a Gold Record for sales of their “Greatest Hits” album.

3/15/68:  The Del Satins and The Rhythm Method merge to form a new group, The Brooklyn Bridge.  In less than a year, they will top the charts with “The Worst That Could Happen,” a Jimmy Webb song sung by the incredible voice of lead singer Johnny Maestro.  (Story goes that when the two groups merged to form an eleven-piece band, talent agent Dave Zahn told their manager, Betty Sperber, “Jesus Christ, Betty … tryin’ to sell that will be like tryin’ to sell the Brooklyn Bridge!” … and that’s how they got their new name!)

3/16/68:  Robert Kennedy (RFK) announces Presidential campaign.

Also on this date, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” reaches #1 on The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart, where it will stay for four weeks.  (Incredibly, it will NOT reach #1 in either Cash Box or Record World.)  It IS #1 in Nevada, however, as shown in this week's special Saturday Survey!  

3/17/68:  The Bee Gees perform “Words” and “To Love Somebody” on The Ed Sullivan Show.  It is their US television debut.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Friday Flash

Sorry, but I just can’t let this one go.

Now I will admit that I have never been a fan of Cousin Brucie … I have never understood the appeal … and I guess maybe you just had to be there … because this guy has iconic rock and roll deejay status on the east coast and was there from the beginning of the rock era, so he certainly has earned a certain amount of street cred in the process.  (I’m sure there are folks out in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia who don’t understand the appeal of our Dick Biondi, too … although Dick was on the air in Buffalo for a stretch.)

But Bruce Morrow has always been, for me, one of those jocks who just loves the sound of his own voice rather than giving any serious thought to what he’s actually saying with it.

Still, all that being said, a guy of THIS stature … with this type of reputation and this type of following … REALLY ought to know better … so rather than be embarrassed for him, I instead felt anger that he was spewing off bad information to a loyal legion of ‘60’s music fans (along with any potential new fans first discovering this music) on his Sirius / XM radio program on Wednesday.

It all started off as a plug for a new Paul Shaffer program that’s running on Sirius XM’s Deep Tracks and Classic Vinyl channels.  Paul goes one on one with some of the biggest artists out there, manno to manno, speaking musician to musician … and, although I’ve yet to hear it, it’s really supposed to be quite good.

Paul’s guest this week is Graham Nash and Cousin Brucie (who was THERE at the time, don’t forget … and has this WEALTH of hands-on history to share with his listeners) starts going on and on about what a GREAT artist Graham Nash is … and how he’s always been a fan and how Graham has always been one of his favorites … and what a distinctive voice he has … and then, to illustrate his point says, “Here, listen to this … this is Graham Nash with The Hollies and you can tell the minute Graham comes in because his voice just jumps right out at you” … and then proceeds to play “Long Cool Woman With A Black Dress,” the #1 Hollies hit from 1972, recorded FIVE YEARS AFTER Nash left The Hollies!!!  In fact, by 1972, he had already had six Top 20 Hits with Crosby, Stills (and sometimes Young)!!!  You’re not going to hear “Graham Nash’s distinctive voice” on this record because Graham Nash isn’t ON this record!!!  (In fact, if I remember correctly, this track was first recorded as a solo track by Allan Clarke, who was then persuaded to record it with The Hollies instead to take advantage of the name recognition and get the band back on the charts.)

It’s not even the fact that he got the story wrong … but more the fact that he spoke it with such knowing authority and got it wrong, thus misinforming every listener in the process that ultimately got my goat. 

I mean, c’mon … this is Cousin Brucie … HE WAS THERE!!!  If he says it, then it MUST be true, right?!?!?  (I’m sorry, but this just shouldn’t be happening at this level of professionalism … and even more so on a radio station dedicated and devoted to preserve the music of the ‘60’s.) 

Which begs, I guess, another question or two …

Why is The 60s Channel playing a song from 1972 in the first place when there are at least a dozen bona-fide Hollies hits from the ‘60’s that actually DO feature Graham Nash on vocals?!?!?  I just don’t get it!  (kk)

On the plus side, you can learn more about Paul’s new program … and hear some excerpts from it … here:

Saw an awesome Eagles concert Wednesday Night.
Don Henley started off a bit rough but after he warmed up, he was great. Vince Gill is a natural addition and said he's honored to be a part of a band he's admired for the past 45years. Deacon Frey is a clone of his father and a great fit.
They began with all the 70's hits, moved on to a Vince Gill solo of one of his hits, some Joe Walsh, then Timothy B Schmit sang a couple of his well-known hits while sitting down thru the entire concert, due to an injury yesterday at the hotel.
They ended the night with three encores:  Hotel California, Desperado and Joe Walsh doing a rousing rendition of Rocky Mountain Way. The lighting, graphics and acoustics were outstanding.
Ed Kristak  

We had really wanted to see this show (but the ticket prices were just so killer-crazy this time around that we had to pass.)  Still it’s hard to feel like you don’t get your full money’s worth at an Eagles concert … without question one of the best “live” bands I’ve ever seen … and consistently so for decades now.)
I’m glad to hear that Vince Gill is fitting in so well … and that he’s getting to do at least something from his own catalog.  (The guy’s had like 60 hits under his own name on the Country Charts … and did some band-time with The Pure Prairie League in the early ‘80’s.)
I’ve heard that Glen’s son just continues to improve with every performance … and who’d have EVER thought that Joe Walsh would still be with them forty years later!!!  Sounds like you had a GREAT time (as I knew you would!!!)  kk

Here is the 27-song set list The Eagles performed at The United Center Wednesday Night here in Chicago:
 1 - Seven Bridges Road  (all)
 2 - Take It Easy (Deacon Frey lead vocals)
 3 - One Of These Nights (Don Henley lead vocals)
 4 - Take It To The Limit  (Vince Gill lead vocals)
 5 - Tequila Sunrise (Vince Gill)
 6 - Witchy Woman (Don Henley)
 7 - In The City (Joe Walsh lead vocals)
 8  - I Can't Tell You Why  (Timothy B. Schmit lead vocals)
 9 - How Long (Deacon Frey)
10 - Ol' '55  (Vince Gill)
11 - Peaceful Easy Feeling (Deacon Frey)
12 - The Best Of My Love (Don Henley)
13 - New Kid In Town (Vince Gill)
14 - Love Will Keep Us Alive (Timothy B. Schmit)
15 - Lyin' Eyes  (Vince Gill)
16 - Next Big Thing  (Vince Gill)
17 - Those Shoes  (Don Henley)
18 - Already Gone (Deacon Frey)
19 - Victim Of Love (Don Henley)
20 - Walk Away (Joe Walsh)
21 - Heartache Tonight (Vince Gill)
22 - Life's Been Good (Joe Walsh)
23 - Funk #49 (Joe Walsh)
24 - Life In the Fast Lane (Don Henley)
Encore #1:
25 - Hotel California (Don Henley)
Encore #2:
26 - Rocky Mountain Way (Joe Walsh)
27 - Desperado  (Don Henley)  

This, too, is great to see ... while I thought things might take on more a tone of "The Don Henley Show," vocals are nicely distributed throughout the set amongst all of these talented vocalists.  (In fact Henley handling only eight lead tracks is far less than I ever would have expected.)  

And it’s nice to hear that Don Henley and Vince Gill have also been working together on a project outside the confines of The Eagles.

Next month two Elton John – Bernie Taupin tribute albums will be released (both a pop and a country version) and Vince and Don take on Elton’s “Sacrifice” on the country album.  (I’m very anxious to hear this!)

This isn’t the first time that big-name artists have gotten together to pay tribute to this incredible song-writing duo … back in 1991, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Sting, The Who, The Beach Boys, Joe Cocker, Wilson Phillips, Jon Bon Jovi, Tina Turner, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Bruce Hornsby, George Michael and Phil Collins (along with a few others) released the “Two Rooms” CD.  (In fact Sinead O’Connor performed “Sacrifice on this LP.)
New artists paying include Pink, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Mary J. Blige, Florence and the Machine, Lady Gaga, Little Big Town, Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson, Miranda Lambert and, appearing on BOTH the pop AND the country releases, Miley Cyrus.   

Looks like these will hit the streets on April 6th.  (kk)  

Here's a story we never expected to see ...    

Here’s a new Rascals story from Mike McCann from Premiere Radio Networks  
-Tom Cuddy

RASCALS: Gene Rejoining Felix   

The band's founding guitarist and frontman will reunite for shows later this summer.

Gene Cornish will re-join Felix Cavaliere on this year's Rascals tour. And they'll welcome a familiar and respected name on drums -- Carmine Appice.

The Rascals guitarist says strong support from the fans and radio led to his joining Felix.

Here's Gene Cornish on teaming up with Felix Cavaliere and Carmine Appice as The Rascals:

"Because of the fan base and their love for the music. And because we've lost so many great stars like Prince, Tom Petty, Glen Campbell, Glenn Frey, Felix and I decided we have to go out there and play for the fans. It's about, we don't have a lot of time left in our lives. And we want to make it just very very worthy of the support that we got from the fans. We replaced our drummer with Carmine Appice; we don't miss a beat with him. He's just an iconic, wonderful drummer."

A founder of the legendary rockers Vanilla Fudge, Appice spent many years working with Rod Stewart and co-wrote such classics as "Young Turks" and "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy."  Gene also touched on the two Rascals who won't be part of this year's tour.

"We reached out to Dino [Danelli], but he didn't show much interest. He's very dedicated to his artistry. He's a painter; he hasn't played in five years. Eddie Brigati is committed to his one man show -- he's doing kind of like a standards kind of show, doing 'Send in the Clowns' and stuff like that. And this is something he dreamt of his whole life. And everybody at our age -- which is like, between 73 and 75 -- has the right and, of course, the blessing of all the other Rascals to do exactly what they want."

Gene doesn't expect a repeat of their 2012 - 2013 Once Upon a Dream reunion tour. While crediting Steve Van Zandt for creating and producing it, Gene also blames him for its abrupt end, just before a series of canceled New York dates.

"I must set the record straight and without any kind of disrespect. The tour ended because of Steve Van Zandt, not because of The Rascals. The Rascals got along famously. We're indebted to Stevie for what he did, but he cut ... he cut us off at the pass and he moved onto projects, as he always does."

Due to other commitments, rehearsals won't begin until June. Cornish says that they're looking to making "some happy Rascal music" -- probably starting in mid-July. The soon-to-launch website will post show dates and locations.   

This should pose an interesting, new dynamic ... we wish them the best.  (Half a reunion is better than none at this point ... Gene and Dino performed for years as "The New Rascals" and neither of them ever really sang much with the band ... the whole "sound" was Felix and Eddie ... but I LOVE the fact that Gene says they're all getting along really well right now ... and each was approached with the opportunity to team up again.  (kk)

Sad news about the passing of iconic producer, arranger, songwriter Jimmy Wisner earlier this week.  This guy worked with EVERYBODY over the years!

I just lost my good friend and long, long time arranger and record producer, Jimmy Wisner.  He was so inventive, so talented, and so honorable.  
Jimmy and I recorded the Billboard-charted and big-city country radio topper, “Hello, This Is Joannie” in 1979.  We also recorded a couple of albums together.  
Jimmy was a secret weapon in the music business and you can read about his long and lustrous music career and a list of the artists that he worked with at:
Somewhere Jimmy is making music today because music and his wife Jane were the loves of his life.
Paul Evans

Jimmy Wisner passed away Tuesday according to Tommy James.  This man had his hands in the works of SO many of our FH artists, it's incredible.  He wrote, produced and arranged songs for Tommy James, for one, but how about these FH member songs?  These are just ones with ties to FH (and many more by some of these artists).  He worked with so many stars (of which you only need to hear half their name) from Streisand to Bennett to Cymbal to Avalon to Keith to Hirt to Pitney to Caiola to Mann to Calloway to Goulet to Nilsson to Simone to Vinton to Dyson to Greaves to Butler to Lynne to Noble to Ronnie Spector to Len Barry to Peaches & Herb and more.  He took over as producer of the Buckinghams in ‘68, and altho their hits soon waned, his production was spot on.  SO many more too. 
Mr. Wisner, we bow to your great work.  
Rest in Peace.  

Tommy James And The Shondells - I Think We're Alone Now and almost all the rest of his hits 
The Cowsills - The Rain, The Park And Other Things
Paul Evans - Hello, This Is Joannie (The Telephone Answering Machine Song) 
Jay And The Techniques - Keep The Ball Rollin'
Spanky And Our Gang - Sunday Will Never Be The Same 
The Tokens - Portrait Of My Love
Neil Sedaka - The World Through A Tear 
The Archies - Plum Crazy
Bobby Rydell - The Joker 
Lou Christie - Waco
Jay And The Americans - (He's) Raining In My Sunshine

*-- Actually this was Tony Hatch, writing under the name of Mark Anthony (kk)
Chubby Checker - Rosie
The Searchers - Don't Throw Your Love Away 
Fabian - The Love That I'm Giving To You


The Buckinghams - Where Did You Come From   

He also produced a song in 1968 that I loved from the first day it arrived at my house that year.  It's a bit of a strange song done with sounds of the period, but never took off anywhere, it seems.  Our Ron Dante wrote it, so I'd love to hear any story behind it.  Bob Dileo did three 45s for Columbia, but earlier did a very cool Beach Boys sounding 45 as the Giant Jellybean Copout.  This has all the psychedelic yet MOR sounds that could have made it a nice AM AND MOR fit almost.

Speaking of recent deaths, you wouldn’t think the passing of Stephen Hawking would have much impact on the rock world … but Ultimate Classic Rock points out that recordings of Hawking speeches were used on albums issued by Pink Floyd and U2.  Hawking himself says he attended a few rock and roll shows, most notably Dephche Mode, Pink Floyd and Tracy Chapman … but said he went to a concert by Status Quo “but left after twenty minutes … they were terrible!”
Howard Kaylan of The Turtles was one of the first to post the notice of Hawking’s passing … and Micky Dolenz issued this statement when informed of the news:

I had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Hawking as he and I were leaving a restaurant in Cambridge, England, sometime around the year 1980.
He, of course, had no idea who I was but I was well versed in who he was as I have always been, and continue to be, a student of science and particularly quantum physics and cosmology.
Needless to say, we have lost one of the greatest minds in science (which, BTW, is a word directly translated from the Latin word “scire” which simply means -  “know”.)
He obviously loved to “know” things and will certainly be remembered right up there with all of the other greatest men and women who attempted to know the truth: Copernicus, Galileo, Ada Lovelace, Tycho Braye, Kepler, Newton, Madame Curie, Einstein, Rosalind Franklin, Feynman, etc.
Science is about knowing - or at least attempting to know the truth about our natural world:  without subjectivity, without snake oil salesmen, without wishing and hoping.
Stephen Hawking exemplified this notion and, given the extraordinarily difficult reality of his physical existence, he will surely go down in history as one of the greatest knowers that the world has ever seen. 
Micky Dolenz  

In today's FH you mentioned the passing of Nokie Edwards of the Ventures fame. I was a little bit surprised in that today's paper here in OKC there was a somewhat good obit on him. The reason being in that he had some ties to the state of Oklahoma. For whatever reason, I still remember the Sunday afternoon back in 1960 when I went to a local drugstore, along with my parents, and bought their first recording of WALK DON'T RUN. Their 1964 record RAP CITY / SLAUGHTER ON  10TH AVENUE was a two-sided hit here in OKC as well as a probably forgotten instrumental GENESIS from 1962. They probably had more instrumentals than some people realize.
One final thing and this is something I remembered was a record they made in 1959 (their first?) called THE REAL MCCOY.
I remember having “The McCoy” (no “real” ... you must be thinking of a Walter Brennan record!) as the B-Side of my Dolton “Walk Don’t Run” 45 … according Joel Whitburn’s book, this single was issued with two different flip sides … “The McCoy” (which was a pretty tasty instrumental in its own right) and “Home.”
Edwards was actually born in Oklahoma (Lahoma … must have been a real creative town!) in 1935.  In the late ‘50’s, he moved to Tacoma (oh come on, really?!?!) Washington, where he hooked up with Buck Owens’ band (prior to The Buckaroos) and it was while playing in a club there, that Don Wilson and Bob Bogle recruited him to start The Ventures.  (As mentioned the other day, Edwards started first on bass guitar but then convinced his bandmates that we was really better on lead.)
The rest, as they say, is history.  The Ventures racked up a total of 35 national chart hits, six of which made The Top 40:  “Walk, Don’t Run” (#2, 1960); “Perfidia” (#12, 1960); “Ram-Bunk-Shush” (#29, 1961); “Walk, Don’t Run, ‘64” (#8, 1964); “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” (#35, 1964) … by the way, the flip side “bubbled under” nationally, too, peaking at #132) … and “Hawaii Five-O” (#4, 1969.  (kk)

Always surprising to read the variety of R&R-related data you include in your blogs, including the mention of "unsung hero" Richard Wess. 
As soon as I saw the name I knew him as the man who created the theme music for just the 1st season of "I Dream Of Jeannie" (The Black & White Season).   
After hearing his connection with the like of Bobby Darin and now hearing the original IDOJ theme in my head, I can just hear Bobby singing to that original theme because that theme fit Mr. Darin.  Too bad Richard never tapped Bobby to sing words to that theme, it might've been a hit!
Uncle T. Jay 
We’re all about the music … so when there are topics you guys want to cover we try to buy in whenever we can … what I’ve found over eighteen years of doing this is that we all learn things in the process … and that goes for me as much as anybody else!  (kk)
kk …
The song "Sh-Boom" was recorded on 3/15/1954.  It went on to become a #5 Billboard Hit and a #1 Cash Box Hit.
Here's the story behind the hit …
And here's the whole song …
Technically “Sh-Boom” peaked at #9 on Billboard’s Best Sellers Chart … this predated their Top 100 and Hot 100 listings.  Back in 1954 Billboard would also publish a Jukebox Chart (which is where it peaked at #5) and a Disc Jockey Chart.
It spent seven weeks at #1 on the Cash Box Best Selling Singles Chart and peaked at #3 in Music Vendor, the precursor to Record World.  It was also a #2 Hit on Billboard’s R&B Chart.  Incredibly The Crew Cuts’ version reached the #1 Spot in Billboard … because, at that time, that’s the version that was played throughout the majority of white-bread America.  (kk)

Miss hearing some of the songs from the '50's?

Then you won't want to miss our April 1st Easter Feature!

And be sure to stop back tomorrow to check out this week's Saturday Survey ... next stop ... NEVADA!!!  (kk)